House of Commons Hansard #52 of the 37th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was children.

Topics

IraqOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Francine Lalonde Bloc Mercier, QC

Mr. Speaker, that is right, you are following.

Pearson did not wait for Eisenhower's opinion before suggesting the peacekeepers. Trudeau did not wait for Nixon before recognizing China, and Mulroney did not wait to take his cue from Reagan to boycott South Africa.

Will the Prime Minister agree that, unlike his predecessors, he is a follower and not a leader?

IraqOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, once again, it is the opposite.

The Prime Minister clearly told President Bush, when he had his first conversation with him, that we absolutely require the approval of the UN Security Council for Canada to participate in armed action against another state. He has always maintained this.

This government's policy is to support the multilateral system, of which we are one of the biggest defenders.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deepak Obhrai Canadian Alliance Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, last Thursday we asked the Minister for International Cooperation for her assurance that no foreign aid dollars were being funneled to terrorist organizations like Hezbollah or the Tamil Tigers.

Reports now say that CIDA has been funding Canadian organizations with ties to al-Qaeda. Canadians are losing faith in the Liberal government. Will the minister order a review of aid programs in areas of terrorist control?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Essex Ontario

Liberal

Susan Whelan LiberalMinister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, as I said last week in the House, Canadians can expect that my department is being prudent in selecting our partners in the developing world. We work closely with the other departments and agencies and with foreign affairs and international trade. We verify that our partners are not on the lists of the United Nations or Canada of suspected terrorists.

I can assure the House that I have revisited with my department our different partners. We will continue to do that. We are very vigilant. We recognize the importance of Canadian dollars being distributed to the people who need it on the ground.

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Deepak Obhrai Canadian Alliance Calgary East, AB

Mr. Speaker, a disturbing theme is emerging. Terrorist organizations and individuals are benefiting because of the inability of CIDA to keep proper controls. This is totally unacceptable.

Will the minister immediately review her aid programs to ensure no terrorist organizations are recipients, directly or indirectly, of Canadian tax dollars?

TerrorismOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Essex Ontario

Liberal

Susan Whelan LiberalMinister for International Cooperation

Mr. Speaker, if my hon. colleague across the way has any evidence, I would like him to put it in front of me. I can tell the House that we do not fund terrorist organizations and that we channel our assistance through reputable organizations like the Red Cross and the United Nations.

I have asked my department to ensure that our money is going to reputable organizations and that we are not doing something indirectly that we should not be doing directly.

Very clearly, I had a meeting with the departmental official months ago on this issue and we are very actively working to ensure that our money is reaching those in need, the poor people of this world, for sustainable development to reduce poverty.

IraqOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday UN chief inspector Hans Blix asked that U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell provide concrete evidence leading to specific sites for inspectors to check.

Instead of hiding behind a wait and see approach, could the Prime Minister not add his voice to that of Mr. Blix and demand that American evidence support the inspection process rather than justify war in Iraq?

IraqOral Question Period

2:35 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, last week, I had the opportunity to meet with Secretary of State Powell in Washington. He clearly stated his intention to present the Americans' case against Iraq tomorrow. Let us wait until he has given his briefing to the Security Council. Let us wait until Dr. Blix has submitted his report, on February 14. Then, we will have exactly the information we need to make a decision on this very serious matter.

IraqOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Bloc

Claude Bachand Bloc Saint-Jean, QC

Mr. Speaker, we have been getting the same answer over and over, “Let us wait”. We are tired of waiting. This government must take the lead. The chief inspector's request is providing Canada with a golden opportunity to act.

Does the government plan to join with Hans Blix in demanding, today, that the Americans identify specific sites for UN representatives to inspect?

IraqOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Toronto Centre—Rosedale Ontario

Liberal

Bill Graham LiberalMinister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I think that even the Bloc Quebecois should demonstrate a sense of justice and let Secretary of State Powell speak before the United Nations before criticizing. Let us give him a chance to give his briefing. As a government, we will take action on the basis of all the facts that we will be reviewing. We will act on this matter in the best interest of Canada and Canadians.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, yesterday in Vancouver a judge ordered no jail time for two young men who ran down and killed an innocent woman while street racing.

The B.C. Supreme Court Justice who handed down the conditional sentences cited the federal government's concern about over incarceration as an excuse for misusing conditional sentencing. The judge did not understand that conditional sentencing was only intended for misdemeanours, not for violent crime.

Why does the government continue to allow criminals convicted of killing innocent people to use a loophole to get away with murder?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, the event the hon. member is referring to is indeed a sad story. When we talk about a question of sentencing and conditional sentencing, we know a lot of work has been done on that by the justice departments not only at the federal level but at the provincial and territorial level.

We have been discussing the question of sentencing. There is no consensus around the table as to the way in which we should proceed. It is an ongoing process, and we are looking at the question of sentencing closely.

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Jay Hill Canadian Alliance Prince George—Peace River, BC

Mr. Speaker, while the minister is still trying to find consensus, innocent people are being killed. In August 1997, the B.C. Court of Appeals stated that if Parliament had intended to exclude certain offences from consideration under conditional sentencing, it could have done so in clear language.

I have had a private member's bill in the House for over three years that would restrict the use of conditional sentencing. Enough is enough. I will gladly lend my bill to the minister. Will he bring in legislation, now, today, to restrict conditional sentencing?

JusticeOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, when we talk about conditional sentencing and sentencing provisions as a whole, there was strong support around the table at the FPT meeting with regard to those provisions.

As I have said many times, we have been discussing the question of conditional sentencing. What has been enacted serves the purpose very well. It is an ongoing process and we are still discussing the question of sentencing around the table.

However as far as I am concerned, we have very good sentencing provisions in place. In some places, such as with the gun law, we have one of the toughest sentencing regimes in the world.

Rail TransportationOral Question Period

February 4th, 2003 / 2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Hélène Scherrer Liberal Louis-Hébert, QC

Mr. Speaker, many rumours circulated recently about a new rapid rail service in the Montreal-Toronto corridor. Although I believe that establishing this type of infrastructure is excellent news, I am very disappointed to hear that Quebec City is not included in the projected plans.

Can the Minister of Transport confirm that Quebec City is not excluded, that it will be included in a rapid rail plan and that, in the future, it will be the Quebec City-Toronto corridor?

Rail TransportationOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Don Valley East Ontario

Liberal

David Collenette LiberalMinister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, even if it is too early to give all the details concerning the VIA Rail proposal to optimize the use of existing infrastructure in the Quebec City-Windsor corridor, my officials are currently looking at this situation. However, I must stress that this corridor runs between Quebec City and Windsor.

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

NDP

Brian Masse NDP Windsor West, ON

Mr. Speaker, on November 7, 2002 the Minister of Industry minister responded to my question on the flawed process dealing with the Windsor border saying, “The people of Windsor do not want more process. They want action”. Since that time thousands of people have attended six meetings to object to his committee's proposals and to demand an open and transparent process.

Now cabinet is considering the committee's report despite the public outcry to reject the DRTP and Ambassador Bridge submissions.

Will the minister commit to reject these two proposals and support projects that do not destroy neighbourhoods, and deal with the real issue?

Border SecurityOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Etobicoke Centre Ontario

Liberal

Allan Rock LiberalMinister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, in characteristic fashion the member wants to have it both ways. First, he is demanding more public input and then he is critical of our public meetings.

We are asking the public for their views on these issues. We are interested to know their reactions but we are also determined to make that border work. It is critical to the Canadian economy. It is a priority for all levels of government.

We will have the border functioning properly and we are finding a way to do it with the support of the community.

IraqOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax, NS

Tomorrow, Mr. Speaker, the U.S. will again try to convince the world that Bush's war is just. Iraqi civilians at risk know it is not. Canadians remain unconvinced. More and more Americans are unconvinced. Even Bush's intelligence operatives, the CIA and the FBI, find the evidence unconvincing.

When will the Liberals stop listening to Alliance hysteria and start listening to the voice of reason? Why will the Prime Minister not permit a vote? Is it because he is afraid of his own backbenchers?

IraqOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Glengarry—Prescott—Russell Ontario

Liberal

Don Boudria LiberalMinister of State and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Mr. Speaker, the question from the hon. member does not relate to the historical situation in the House at all. She is referring to not permitting or some such thing. The opposition has about one day a week in which it can bring forward any subject it likes in the House.

The government, through the excellent initiative of the right hon. Prime Minister, has instituted a system since 1993 whereby we debate these issues in the House of Commons, whether there are large or even small deployments. I have offered a debate as early as tomorrow night, and we had one less than a week ago.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, with the reports tabled yesterday, Canadians were shown again that the Canadian firearms registry is a flawed, overly complex, bureaucratic mess. The reports prove the registry will not only cost Canadian taxpayers more millions, but there is no guarantee of success and no connection to public safety. Another $15 million is called for to fix the faulty database with another system that will fail.

Will the Minister of Justice break his government's money wasting addiction on this ridiculous registry, given there are no assurances that the new guidelines, new timeframes or costs are any more realistic than the previous ones?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, I would just like to start by saying that the party of the hon. member voted for gun control and it was a step in the right direction. When we are talking about gun control, we are talking about public safety.

The two reports, which were tabled yesterday, are interesting in the sense that it gives us a foundation to proceed with a good and valid plan of action. As I have said many times, the Canadian population is supporting our policy. It wants the government to proceed with that policy, and we will ensure that we proceed with the program, which is user friendly and cost efficient as well.

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Peter MacKay Progressive Conservative Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough, NS

Mr. Speaker, perhaps the minister did not hear my question. I am not asking about gun control. I am asking about gun registration, the system that is not working.

The Hession report states that the organizational structure of the firearms program is cumbersome, unfocused and inefficient. The latest government plan will gobble up an additional half billion dollars over the next six years and cost $62 million annually to operate. These issues are further aggravated by the existence of multiple headquarters in Edmonton, Ottawa, Montreal and Miramichi.

Clearly the political decision to spread the wasteful system around added to the cost and confusion. How can the minister justify these expenditures given the dubious records and results?

Firearms RegistryOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Outremont Québec

Liberal

Martin Cauchon LiberalMinister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Mr. Speaker, first, we asked for the Hession report because we wanted to have some recommendations regarding the future and recommendations about the management. We have 16 recommendations that are very interesting. We will look into all those recommendations and come forward with a plan of action.

I would just like to tell the member that when we say that the Canadian population is supporting our policy, we are talking about gun control with the two components of licensing and registration.

Child PornographyOral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Canadian Alliance

Myron Thompson Canadian Alliance Wild Rose, AB

Mr. Speaker, Canadians and the official opposition are demanding an effective national strategy for fighting child pornography, not Liberal half measures and empty promises.

The Solicitor General's recent announcement that the RCMP and the OPP will develop a national strategy, and that funding for this undertaking will come from the existing RCMP budget, rings hollow with Canadians because Canadians cannot take this promise seriously when they know the RCMP simply does not have the funds. When will it get the funds?